Share House Survival Guide 

Are you really a millennial if you haven’t lived in a share house? Living in an overpriced, slightly run down, house/apartment/garage/box, with a few of your mates is a rite of passage. It’s the first time we taste freedom and test our limits after flying the nest. Most people will be able to tell you of rosy, lovely times they had back in their day in their shared house. But for every one of these people, there’s 10 others just waiting to tell you a horror story or go on a 20 minute rant about their share house experience.  

So to avoid this tension and bring a little peace back into our tumultuous lives, here is my survival guide to living in a share house.  

 Establish House Rules 

OK so you’re supposed to be adults now with all this new freedom. But little did you know that the bubble you’ve been living in (your family home), is a bubble and it is about to be burst. People live very different lifestyles with different expectations and realities of cleanliness, what can and can’t be shared, how loud you can listen to your music, when people need to pee and you’ve been in the bathroom for 40minutes. You want to get off on the right foot and taking an hour at the beginning of your lease to talk about these things will save you a lot of frustration, confusion and bursting bladders.  

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Have a joint account  

If you’re that sort of household that smokes a lot of weed, then a joint account is a good idea (haha get it) . And if you’re not, a joint account is still a good idea. It makes the complex adult world of ‘paying bills,’ much less stressful and much easier to handle. Transfer your rent plus a little extra every week to go towards bills, cleaning products and beer. A house that drinks and/or smokes together, stays together. 

The Facebook Chat is the DEVIL – try a real conversation 

You may be tempted to create a Facebook chat with a catchy, punny title dedicated to house updates. Whilst it’s a good idea for little things like yo we’re out of toilet paper,’ it is not the place for ‘ok so our gas got cut off and we have no hot water’ crisis’. No joke – our gas got cut off and it truly did test our friendship (and strength to have cold showers in winter). We all know that sarcasm and Facebook rarely works, so why would we think that talking about serious house issues in the group chat would be any different. Call a house meeting or give them a call and talk about it. Talking about any issues is the best way to resolve it.  

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Don’t be a tight ass, share your milk, bread, oil….  

Living in a share house implies sharing things. So don’t be that person who writes their name on the milk bottle… it’s just milk. Sharing is caring, plus there’s no point crying over shared milk.  

However… label your hummus. That shits precious. 

Sharing is caring, but sharing your hummus is for your soul mate.  

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The kitchen….. 

I wish I had the answer to keeping a kitchen tidy. I really wish I did. What I find most effective is if you pile up all their dirty dishes into a neat corner of the kitchen and clean around it. I think the communal kitchen is a global unsolvable problem.  Just like the chicken or the egg… whose dirty dish came first? (not mine).

Play music when having that special friend over 

Most share houses that us twenty something humans can afford are pretty shit (I call it character building). But that means that they have pretty thin walls. One of the perks of living in a share house is that you can bring whoever you want back to your place without sneaking around. But living in a share house is all about respect, so if you like to get your groove on, um, loudly… play some music.  

 

Living in a share house really is the epitome of being a twenty something human. As dirty, stressful, drunk or noisy it may be, your housemates become your family and your share house a home. Over the years you’ll live with good housemate, bad housemates, terrible housemates, and housemates that turn into your best friends. No matter what happens, at least you’ll get some good stories and character building out of it.  

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[This post was written for Twenty Something Humans]

I Don’t Know What I Want To Do After University: And I’m OK With That

So I’m about to finish my 3rd year of university, with only a year to go until that glorious graduation day. So it’s common that I get asked what my plans are for when I do graduate. And of course, I’m OK with people asking me this. I’ve got big dreams and big plans. But people give me a somewhat unsatisfied look when I can’t give them the name of a profession. Like somehow that doesn’t align with their idea of what my degree leads to or their expectation of me. I usually sit there trying to defend myself and the fact that I don’t know what I want to do, but that’s a good thing etc… but I can see it in their eyes. They think I’m delusional.

So this has prompted me to realise and accept the following…

The truth is, I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate, and I’m happy about that.

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What ideas do I have?

Well let me name a few to get us started.

I’m considering doing honours (thesis). Taking a year off to work. Taking time off to travelVolunteering for an NGO. Applying for a graduate program. Doing my Masters. Doing my Masters overseas. Start my own business. Become involved in politics. Be a foreign correspondent. Be a freelance content creator. 

I have no shortage of ideas. But I feel like I shouldn’t be narrow on my focus or goals. That I shouldn’t discount anything just yet, because who know’s where life will take you. Or should I say, where I’m going to navigate my life.

The reality is, I’m only 22 years old. Some people at my age know exactly what they want to do in life and that’s fantastic, and I support that! But I feel that where I am right now in my life, it’s basically impossible for me to be sure which direction I want to go in. There’s endless possibilities out there. They say that young generations are going to switch careers multiple times during our work life anyway. At my age right now, I value life experience and the skills and lessons I’ve learnt outside of a classroom, more than pursuing a traditional lifestyle of finding a job, husband and settling down. Ain’t nothing settling down around here anytime soon.

I think the most frustrating thing is that the people who ask you this question, are usually the people who know you the least. You’ve usually just met and they’re making awkward small talk, which I hate. So when someone doubts my ability, accomplishments or ambitions, it’s extremely frustrating. Because they’re making an immediate judgement and assumption from our first meeting. Not cool.

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So what can we do about this?

Instead of people asking ‘what you want to do when you graduate’, or ‘what career do you want’… let’s ask something more meaningful. Maybe we can ask them what goals they have? Does what they do make them happy? Where do you see your goals taking you? What’s your biggest dream?

I also think that’s it’s dangerous to put so much pressure on young people. I think society perceives us as invincible, but I feel kind of the opposite at the moment. I feel vulnerable and susceptible to societies expectations but I feel strong in my determination to make something of myself and make myself proud.

I think that by asking these sorts of questions and being encouraging and nurturing of people’s ideas and dreams is the way forward. Questions and conversations that mean something to people. I believe that by moving away from the traditional conversations, we can adapt and change our conversations and belief in others to one that is nurturing, inquisitive and encouraging to ensure we leave a conversation inspired and not judged.

[If you’re still unsure what I’m talking about… check out this amazing TED Talk below, explaining why she, and many others don’t have one true calling – and that’s a good thing!]